My Costa Rican Vacation by Peter T Pontsa
Every year for the last seventeen years, my wife Angela and I have gone to Costa Rica. For at least three weeks in February and March, we try and get the Canadian cold out of our bones and relax. It’s important to recharge our physical bodies and mental attitudes for the rest of the year.
This year we rented a villa about an hour and a half south of the Liberia airport and half an hour from Tamarindo; a popular tourist town on the Pacific coast.
Because we have travelled to Costa Rica so often, over the years we have made numerous friends. When they found out I had published a new book, they were excited for me. A few knew we were coming to Costa Rica and asked me to bring personally signed copies..
They live in the southern Pacific zone, approximately a six-hour drive south of where we were staying, which was a great reason to take a road trip through beautiful Costa Rica to visit them.
We drove down and arrived at Dominical and proceeded to visit our friends Jeff and Nando. They had prepared a delicious dinner for us, and another couple. Jeff also helped us find a place to stay for the next two nights. I left my novel outfoxed with them. Jeff said he was going to use it to teach his husband Nando, English. I was already impressed as Nando’s English was much improved since the year before.
The next day we met up with my close friend David, who was down from Orangeville taking a vacation as well. He took a book for his son Brendan who lives there. We had breakfast together at a seaside restaurant.
Afterward, we went to the Dharma talks that we have participated in over the years. We were excited because Jeff told us about the Tibetan lama at dinner the night before. He is the only lama in Central America.
Many people had already arrived, and Jeff had explained the lama would be giving a Buddhist undertaking for those who were interested in doing so.
The process or service was interesting. An undertaking or precept constitutes the five basic codes of ethics which lay followers of Buddhism respect. These precepts are commitments of abstinence from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. The goal is to develop mind and character on the path to enlightenment.
While we were there, I asked to have my picture taken with the lama. He invited me to sit with him and gave me a tremendously huge hug. He explained to me that Buddhism is in here as he touched his heart. He also informed me, as he squeezed me closer that we were all brothers and sisters.
When the ceremony began, I was inclined to join the undertaking, but found out there was over twenty people that were participating. Since we were expected at some other friends for lunch and a delivery of another book and I had to forgo the experience.
After a rough ride over a dirt road up a mountain side we arrived at a villa with fantastic views of the South Pacific. Catching up on local news with our gracious hosts, Cindy and Paul, we left another book. Then back through Ojochal the culinary centre of the southern zone. We finally made it to the beach restaurant and had dinner with David, whom we had seen at breakfast.
David was very impressed with our experiences, which we shared over margaritas and fresh fish, with coconut rice for Angela as she is a vegetarian. That would be the only time we saw him that trip because the next morning we were driving back to our villa near Tamarindo.
For the next two and a half weeks Angela and I took in the wonderful weather, and time inside the pool and wrote. I used the barbecue every night as tuna steaks was my go-to. As was Imperial beer “cero,” a delicious zero percent alcohol, a thirst quencher on days when it hit 36 degrees Celsius.
Angela made significant progress on her new manuscript. I did start my second Inspector William Fox adventure, managing three chapters.
All in all, it was it gratifying trip where we met some wonderful people and old friends. I delivered books on my travels.
Back at home now, I have received quite a few invitations to be interviewed about my new book outfoxed. There are several upcoming podcasts and in late April, a reading at the Noir at the Bar, in Toronto at the Duke of Kent on Yonge Street.
My plans are to complete the second novel by year’s end. Wish me well as there’s a busy schedule to work around.